Despite Level Funding, Quinn Says Pensions Still Squeezing Schools
After years of state budget cuts, Illinois schools will get roughly level funding under legislation signed into law Thursday. But Governor Pat Quinn says it's still not enough.
Earlier this year, Quinn said Illinois' budget problems meant the state had to reduce school spending. But lawmakers decided not to cut the education budget, in part because Illinois collected more taxes in April than it anticipated.
The extra money will go to elementary and high schools, community colleges, and public universities. It also funds MAP grants for needy college students.
Quinn says while it's nice Illinois could hold the line on education spending, "the bottom line is we do not have enough money for our schools in Illinois, for all of our education, and that is due to the fact that we've had a squeeze by our pension systems."
Quinn once again called for lawmakers to cut state pension benefits — including for teachers and university workers — in order to free up more money to spend on education.